Wednesday 18 October 2017

Shane Long set for Hull talks after Baggies accept £7m bid

Shane Long has been linked with a move to Hull
Shane Long has been linked with a move to Hull

Steve Bruce is set for talks with Shane Long on Thursday after West Bromwich Albion accepted a bid worth a potential £7million.

Bruce has already completed a club record deal for Everton forward Nikica Jelavic and is now poised to complete the signing of Long before Hull City's game against Norwich City this weekend.

Long almost joined Hull in September before Albion dramatically pulled the plug on the deal hours before the transfer window closed.

But the Republic of Ireland international has remained a priority signing for Bruce and Hull's offer was accepted late on Wednesday night after extensive talks between the two clubs over the past 72 hours.

Long's contract at the Hawthorns expires at the end of the season, though he also had a year in the club's favour, and he has been growing increasingly frustrated at the deadlock in negotiations.

Albion have maintained their stance on demanding a significant figure, though new head coach Pepe Mel will find himself without a key player before he has even taken charge of his first game.

Long's anticipated signing takes Bruce's January spending to around £14million, after Jelavic's capture was confirmed on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old has six months remaining on his current Baggies deal, with the club retaining an option of an extra year.

But Albion's sporting director Richard Garlick said the decision to accept Hull's offer came after attempts to pin Long down to a new contract proved unsuccessful.

He told the club's official website: "We began talking to Shane about a new contract last spring and, during the ongoing negotiations, we made him two offers which would have significantly increased his salary.

"However, despite our best endeavours, Shane has declined to sign a new contract.

"Shane effectively only has 18 months left on his deal and with him no closer to accepting our terms and then Hull making an acceptable offer, we felt it was in the club's best interests to accept the bid."

Long was close to joining Steve Bruce's side in September when a private jet was chartered to fly him from the Republic of Ireland's international camp to Hull's training ground.

A move seemed imminent only for West Brom to pull the plug when their own pursuit of Romelu Lukaku fell through.

Long, who is understood to be of interest to other teams in the Premier League including Stoke, now has a decision to make.

Last week his pregnant wife Kayleah suggested he would be staying with West Brom, tweeting: "Not going anywhere! Told Shane happy here & with baby on way it not worth the stress when still in contract! He agreed?? £happydays."

Bruce, who was able to persuade Jelavic to swap Goodison Park for the KC Stadium, must now convince Long to join him.

The arrival of Jelavic and pursuit of Long spell the end of Egyptian forward Gedo's time at Hull, with the club confirming that his season-long loan from Al Ahly had been cut short.

Aaron McLean's expected transfer to Sky Bet League One side Bradford has also been concluded on a busy day for the Tigers.

"Aaron Mclean has completed a permanent move to League One side @officialbantams on a two-and-a-half year deal £UTT," said a message on the club's Twitter feed.

"We can also confirm that @geddo15's loan spell with the Tigers has come to an end following his return to parent club @AlAhly £UTT."

Gedo scored five times in Hull's promotion campaign last season having arrived on loan in January, but was restricted to just three cup outings and two substitute appearances in the league this term.

Mclean, meanwhile, scored in his last appearance for Hull - netting the opener in a 2-0 FA Cup third-round victory at Middlesbrough.

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